On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee held discussions regarding crypto regulations and highlighted the need for tighter regulation and safeguards to protect investors. The discussion was titled “Crypto Crash” and witnessed several lawmakers and regulators presenting their opinions on the subject.
In the session, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat from Massachusetts, and Senator Roger Marshall, Republican from Kansas, plan to reintroduce legislation that would extend anti-money laundering laws to a broad array of cryptocurrency ecosystems. That would include digital asset wallet providers, miners, validators, and other blockchain network participants.
Warren highlighted the dire need for anti-money laundering laws to tackle crypto-related crimes and give regulators the required authority.
Sen. Roger Marshall and I are reintroducing our anti-money laundering bill to clamp down on crypto crime and give regulators the tools they need to stop the flow of crypto to drug traffickers and places like North Korea.
Marshall and Warren introduced the original version of the bill last December. It would also have prohibited banks and other financial institutions from transactions with digital asset mixers, which are meant to mask transactions made on public blockchains. During the session, the senator used her time to claim that anti-money laundering rules do not adequately apply to crypto companies.
If introduced in the same form as last December, the bill would also extend anti-money laundering reporting requirements and include U.S. citizens who transact $10,000 or more in digital assets. The bill would also include transactions done using an offshore account and require the Treasury Department to do anti-money laundering compliance examinations for money service businesses, the registration that large U.S. crypto companies fall under.
Further, Warren also highlighted the threats from digital assets that drove the basis of her rationale for more stringent anti-money laundering rules around digital assets.
Just last year, just in one year, crypto was the payment method of choice for international drug traffickers who raked in over a billion dollars through crypto, North Korean hackers who stole $1.7 billion in funding that outfitted their nuclear program, and ransomware attackers who took in almost $500 million.
The hearing witnessed the executives and financial experts sincerely dropping in their suggestions regarding the crypto regulations. They also discussed the measures to protect the traditional financial system from crypto threats.
Senator Warren has been particularly active in the field of crypto regulation. She has been a long-time critic of crypto, in a media interaction in 2021, she referred to the Bitcoin industry as “a new shadow bank.” Her statement came at a time when the regulators reportedly were struggling with a financial market dominated by loans.
In recent times, she has repeatedly raised concerns over the increasing mining. For example, in October, Todayq News reported that Senator Warren and a group of six other US senators have asked for data on the energy use and potential environmental effects of Texas-based bitcoin mining facilities.